In his first blog since becoming the trade body’s chief executive, Godfrey conceded that there has been “a profound breakdown of trust” between the financial services industry and society at large since the financial crisis struck.
Looking at reputation, he said: “If we want to gain trust from society, we can only succeed through what we do. And what we do has to be to take positive steps that demonstrate clearly that our driving force is to deliver great results for our clients.
“If this is the case, then we will have nothing to hide and so complete transparency holds no fears for us.”
Godfrey said this should not mean the industry is forced to adopt complex measures that “conflate apples with pears and actually mislead clients”. Rather, he argued that asset managers should become more willing to examine themselves objectively and take any necessary steps to improve.
“Trust will support our other key challenge, which is to work with regulators and governments around the world to help them build a regulatory framework which provides proper protection to clients with the lowest possible cost and complexity,” the chief executive added.
“We need effective regulation, because it gives clients the confidence to trust us with their money. We want the lowest costs that are commensurate with that objective because it leaves more money in the pot for clients. And finally we want simple regulation that minimises distraction so that we can get on with making money for them.”
Godfrey started as IMA chief executive on 1 December, taking over from Richard Saunders. Saunders will remain with the trade body in an advisory capacity until the end of the year to assist with an orderly transition.